China’s Youngman bids for Saab, once Again
Published on February 20, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter
Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile has made a 3 billion crowns ($446 million) offer for bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab which has drawn a cool response from receivers, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Friday.
The receivers want bids for parts of Saab rather than the whole business as that would raise more for creditors, the source said. Saab was declared bankrupt last December after months of efforts to keep it afloat by owner Swedish Automobile.
“Youngman made an offer for all of Saab on Monday. They intend to start production in Trollhattan,” said the source, who declined to be identified.
“(The receivers) said they are not interested in a dialogue about the entity but rather want bids for separate parts of the business,” the source said.
“Such a solution would ruin any chance of future car production in Trolhattan. But they have declared in plain terms that there are other, higher bids for parts of the business which would, added up, give greater returns.”
The receivers and Youngman’s legal representative in Sweden declined to comment.
The nail in the coffin for the final rescue deal for Saab was the refusal of former owner General Motors to allow its technology, which underpins Saab cars, to fall into the hands of Youngman as it already has cooperation with the Chinese group SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (Shanghai Automotive).
The source said that, under the fresh offer, Youngman would initially produce Saab’s old 9-3 model, which is not based on the GM technology, and one Lotus model for Malaysia’s Proton. The cars would be made at Saab’s factory in Trollhattan in southwest Sweden.